The Doctor of Philosophy degree program in Gerontology was approved by the Kansas Board of Regents during the 1996-1997 academic year. The University of Kansas is one of only several universities nation-wide which offers the Ph.D. in Gerontology. KU's Graduate Program in Gerontology is unique in that it is an interdisciplinary research degree emphasizing social and behavioral gerontology. Faculty affiliated with the program include members of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Schools of Architecture and Urban Design, Allied Health, Education, Engineering, Fine Arts, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Social Welfare.

The program prepares students for academic and research careers in gerontology, as well as for professional careers in private and public institutions and agencies providing services to older individuals. Students seeking a terminal M.A. in Gerontology are not admitted; the M.A. in Gerontology is offered only to those pursuing a Ph.D. in Gerontology.

Degrees offered:

Gerontology Study

This dual-title degree is an option available to students who have first been admitted to the doctoral program in one of these departments: Communication Studies, Psychology, and Sociology (as of January 2012).  The dual-title degree allows the pursuit of a single degree that incorporates study within a traditional discipline and training in an interdisciplinary field; the student is awarded one degree (Ph.D.) with both titles identified on the diploma (e.g., “Ph.D. in Psychology and Gerontology”). 

This option is designed to appeal to students who are strong in a traditional discipline but also motivated to study across disciplinary lines.  In the course of study, students can avail themselves of disciplinary depth and interdisciplinary breadth.  At the post-doctoral stage, dual-title graduates will have enhanced career and employment opportunities, able to claim expertise in one or both titles of their degree when seeking positions in education and research.

Degrees offered:

Gerontology Faculty

The Certificate Program is no longer accepting new students; currently enrolled students may continue to complete requirements.

The Graduate Certificate Program in Gerontology was first approved as a graduate concentration by the Kansas Board of Regents in 1985 and converted to a certificate program in 2004. The certificate program allows students to combine a research interest in aging with graduate study in a specific academic department. Completion of the certificate program enables students to apply specialized knowledge of the social, psychological, demographic, and biomedical aspects of aging to their professional disciplines. The Certificate in Gerontology represents an additional credential for graduate students from a variety of academic fields who are preparing for careers in research and teaching or professional practice.

Degrees offered:


Why KU
  • One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
  • Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
  • 44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
    —U.S. News & World Report
  • Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
  • 23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times